The consequences of the sanctions imposed against Lukashenka’s regime are becoming increasingly difficult to hide behind the administrative retention of the national currency and the bravura statements of officials that the sanctions motivate them and strengthen the Belarusian economy. The official Belstat data show that industrial production in April 2022 decreased by 10.6% compared to the same period last year. In April, Prime Minister Golovchenko made a not so rosy picture of the prospects of BMZ, MTZ and MAZ, which are looking for stockpiles worth USD 1.5 billion, the same stocks that used to be exported to the EU, the USA and Ukraine. Meanwhile, Grodno Azot has stopped exporting at all and only works for the domestic market.

The regime constantly accuses the democratic forces of inflaming the situation and considers this the only reason for imposing sanctions. It does not admit publicly, but it is well aware that sanctions are the obvious consequences for the murder of peaceful Belarusians, torture, arrests of independent trade union leaders, mass repression, the seizure of the plane, the artificially created migrant crisis on the border with the EU and complicity in the aggression against Ukraine.

We are concentrating on working on sanctions that do not affect the savings of the Belarusians, but rather even save the savings of generations in the form of foreign exchange reserves, which are now being squandered by the regime’s economists. Our goal is to have a significant impact on the funding of the regime and its repressive apparatus. First of all, we are talking about freezing the reserves of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, the correspondent accounts of state banks, and the funds of the International Monetary Fund. We also pay special attention to the possibilities of circumventing sanctions, as long as they exist, sanctions do not work in full force and effect. The regime is using loopholes for its own enrichment, capitalising on companies that have left Russia but remained in Belarus, and continuing to escalate the war in Ukraine, as critical components for the military-industrial complex continue to flow into Belarus and from there into Russia.

Economic pressure on the Lukashenko regime should be timely, effective and targeted. It will not allow the sanctions to be stretched over time and will minimise the side effects affecting the savings of the Belarusians. Only then will the sanctions be able to achieve their goal in a short time – to force the regime to stop repressions against the Belarusian people and complicity in the war against Ukraine, as well as to force the regime to meet well known conditions for lifting the sanctions: releasing all political prisoners, stopping repressions, bringing those responsible for brutal repressions to justice, withdrawing Russian troops and holding new elections under OSCE observation.

As is our tradition, we publish the original policy briefs that we transmit to the competent authorities of the European Union and the United States of America, with the exception of items that require confidentiality. We are doing this to show the Belarusians the vector in which we are working on economic pressure on Lukashenko’s regime. You can see the result of this work in the already adopted and planned packages of sanctions, as well as in the discouraging data that not even Belstat can conceal, and in the way the rhetoric of the regime’s officials is changing.

Analytical note from the National Anti-Crisis Management

Source: NAM